Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tweet This

I was emailing an old friend, Craig Moodie, whose new children's book, Into the Trap just was released today, and I told him that I tweeted the news, "for what it's worth." Then I commented that I can't believe I lived to see the day that the word, "tweet" is a verb.

First, Craig's book can be found here. And here's his blog. (If you think I'm a crusty old writer, get a load of his mug.)

I wrote about Craig's work sometime ago, too. He and I met way back in the corporate world--many lives ago for me. He's still hanging in there, has a beautiful wife, two kids, and home.

But tweeting. One of my professors, a dramaturg, kept saying that the old model of the theater is gone--where you send in a script and if they like it it's produced--and that now to succeed now in the theater you have to be "part of the conversation." That does make sense; that people who know you and who know your work are more likely to produce it. But that means you have to follow God knows how many Twitter accounts, blogs, Web sites, and I don't know what all. To be honest, it's comes across like a full-time job, and I think for dramaturgs and artistic directors it's a great thing to do. But if I'm tweeting and blogging and Facebooking and surfing, I'm not writing. And now there are new social networking sites coming out, like Google +, that's making me choose what to call people: friends, family, acquaintances, people who I barely know and can't figure out why they're still on my Christmas card list I guess it's simply laziness or something else deep-rooted that I'm too tired or scared to figure out. 

So if I'm part of this conversation I'm not part of the real conversation, the conversations that my characters are having. It's enough to make this writer want to spit. 

It all kind of seems as ridiculous to me as that section in Huckleberry Finn where Jim is being held in that shed in the back of Tom Sawyer's uncle's house, and Tom has him writing on tin pans and carving things and throwing them all out the back window because that's what the romantic, swash-buckling heroes did that Tom read about. I feel Tweets and root-a-toot toots are just as silly sometimes, as I try to write something witty and pithy in 140 characters or less.

But then, I do wonder if I'm not a Willy Loman, left behind by the world and on my own, just trying to get by on a smile and a shoeshine. (BTW, I know no one would ever say that, but I love that line.) I know I'm not exactly like Willy. I believe in hard work and talent more than charm and a handshake, but I will admit I do it all with an underlying feeling of desperation that I'm still swimming against a tide that will still sweep me into oblivion.


The Witty Fool said...

All writers need to market themselves. Social networking is a cheap opportunity to get out there... wherever there may be. But, I do think it waters down the discourse and doesn't always create an audience that really listens and pays attention other than to search for an opportunity for one's own self-promotion. Maybe it is a necessary evil, but it sure is a noisy, attention deficit evil.

Action Bob said...

ms. wit...yeah, i agree, we do have to market ourselves--it's in our own best-interest, but it's just part of the mix...yeah, it gets really noisy for me then i have to back away for awhile...and i maintain that social networking only maintains for a while the top, superficial layer of a human relationship, and it can't be maintained some point there has to be face to face time...

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